AS I SEE IT - 6/24/2003:
Invasions into promotions and intrusions into real life...

by: Bob Magee

Some thoughts on last week's subject... doing an invasion angle properly and the insane amount of detail it took... and, more importantly, some unfortunate real life happenings for someone within wrestling.

CZW aired the angle I outlined in last week's column on their Philadelphia TV this Friday night, the angle where IWA Mid-South Wrestling's Ian Rotten, Corporal Robinson, and JC Bailey stormed the ECW Arena and nearly started a small riot after jumping CZW owner Zandig in the show's main event "I Quit" strap match. For those who don't know, Rotten and Zandig have not historically been the best of friends... so the decision to do business was a surprise.

Since last week's column... the angle was talked up by fans of both promotions. It says something about the success of how well it got over with CZW's fans that Sabine Kernaghan, who handles ticket orders for CZW, stated on the promotion's message board that she received 120 e-mails regarding tickets for the Dover, DE show this coming Saturday June 28th featuring Necro Butcher, JC Bailey, Corporal Robinson, and Ian Rotten from IWA Mid-South. Matches to be featured include: Unlucky 13 Staple Gun Death Match where the opponent must staple thirteen $1 bills to his opponent to be victorious, a barbed wire bat/thumbtack bat, a barbed wire table, barbed wire board and Fans Bring The Weapons.

News on this weekend's show is available at the CZW website. For those of you with cable/DSL, you can download and view online the CZW TV that illustrates this invasion angle that led up to this weekend's show at this URL.

CZW's Messiah, Sick Nick Mondo, and Nick Gage will also be appearing on IWA Mid-South's King of the Death Matches tournament held on August 1 and 2 in Clarksville, IN (just across the Ohio River from Louisville). This tournament also features talent from IWA, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, Milwaukee's Mid American Wrestling, and 3PW. News on the King of the Death Matches is available at the IWA website.

Some involved that I spoke to this past Saturday night at 3PW's show were helpful enough to outline some of the detail of how CZW and IWA set up this angle:

In the era where it sometimes seems that everyone (at least in places like Philadelphia) are getting a little too "smart" for their own good, and loves giving away things before they happen, this degree of obsession with detail was essential. If it had gotten out that this angle was happening, more people might have attended the June 14th show... but the long term effect would have been lost.

The purpose of this isn't to "give away" anything as such.

Rather, it's to show readers how hard it is to pull off a good surprise angle in this day of e-mail, IMs, pagers, text messaging, promotional and fan-operated message boards, "tell-a-wrestler", and the good old Internet... and how hard it was to do such an angle well. I hope it lets you appreciate the work that goes into what you see.

Now for the unfortunate real life happenings...

Real life occasionally intrudes into it did for some of us in the Philadelphia area when we heard about a legal situation confronting someone that many of us we know well, Steve Corino.

A local newspaper, the Times Herald (out of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania) reported the following:

Pro wrestler charged with felony fraud

SKIPPACK- A professional wrestler who resides in Collegeville was returning to the United States from Japan when he was detained by U.S. Customs in Detroit, Mich., for an active criminal warrant, according to state police.

Steven Corino, 30, was charged May 19 with forgery and misdemeanor and felony access-device fraud charges after Pennsylvania State Police concluded an investigation which started in 2001.

According to the report, Corino, formerly of 1100 block of Mensch Road, Skippack, allegedly forged a check in his roommate/victim's name in the amount of $2,100 on June 11, 2001.

He reportedly obtained account information and credit cards issued to the victim and proceeded to make more than $10,000 in purchases without the victim's knowledge.

Corino was extradited from Detroit and arraigned in from of District Justice Benjamin Crahalla Sunday. His bail is set at $10,000 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 23."

Corino responded a day later on a number of websites, including, with the following statement:

"First before I start, I want to thank the web sites that have posted this statement from me.

Most of you have probably read that I was arrested recently on charges of forgery and fraud in suburban Philadelphia. This is true.

As reported correctly, I was arrested in Detroit, Michigan on charges that I forged a $2100 check and used a credit card of an ex-girlfriend of mine without her knowledge. This ex-girlfriend claimed I used her credit card 25 times without her knowledge.

I want to go on public record and tell the world that I at no time was ever involved in any illegal activity and I am looking forward to proving my 100% innocence in a court of law. It is a shame that this has happened and I am also looking forward to the truth coming out in this matter as soon as possible.

I apologize to my family, friends, and fans that they have to read negative things about me in the newspaper and Internet. The real truth of this situation will come out in court and I am confident that I will be found innocent of all charges.

A great thing we have here in America is 'innocent until proven guilty' and I ask all my family, friends, and fans to keep that in mind when reading about this case. I have not done anything illegal and will prove that in court.

As you have probably figured out, this is the reason I was not in attendance at the Ring Of Honor show on Saturday, June 14. I apologize to Rob Feinstein, Gabe Sapolsky, Donavon Morgan, Christopher Daniels, Danny Maff, Samoa Joe, CW Anderson, the rest of the boys, and mostly the fans for not being able to attend.

I will continue to wrestle and will be in court on Monday to ask the judge for clearance to return to Japan for ZERO-ONE, which I am confident he will allow.

Thank you to everyone in my family and friends that have supported me and helped me in the last 19 days as this nightmare has unfolded. You truly realize who your friends are when something horrible happens to you.

In closing I want to thank the fans for their support already in this matter. Please realize that I am not a criminal, never will be, and I appreciate all the support you guys are giving me through this hard time.

Steve Corino"

Perhaps I'm speaking out of turn here...

But no one and I do mean no one that knows Steve Corino well believes that he's capable of doing the things alleged above. Corino is someone who, unlike many men... especially in wrestling... plays an active part in the life of his son from a previous marriage, Colby. He happily talks about his son, whether or not it seems "cool" to do so. Steve Corino's no more a saint than any of us... but Corino has always come across as a straight shooter in a business that all too often is sorely lacking in them.

It also seems rather strange that the incident in question took 2 years for such a matter to come to light. One would have thought that if someone were victimized... that they would have immediately tried to secure justice for themselves. No investigation that I can think of would have taken two years to complete. Hell, most murder investigations don't take that long.

Best wishes for Steve as he goes through this situation. I sincerely hope this situation will be resolved quickly, and that the media sources that reported on it last week, including one major Philadelphia TV station, will give equal attention to the dismissal of these charges that I anticipate will happen.

Until next time...


(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at